Heaven and Earth
By Paolo Giordano
A powerful, epic novel of four friends as they grapple with desire, youth, death, and faith in a sweeping story by the international bestselling author of The Solitude of Prime Numbers
Every summer Teresa follows her father to his childhood home in Puglia, down in the heel of Italy, a land of relentless, shimmering heat, centuries-old olive groves and families who have lived there for generations. She spends long afternoons enveloped in a sunstruck stupor, reading her grandmother's paperbacks.
Everything changes the summer she meets the three boys who live on the farm next door: Nicola, Tommaso and Bern—the man Teresa will love for the rest of her life. Raised like brothers on a farm that feels to Teresa almost suspended in time, the three boys share a complex, intimate, and seemingly unassailable bond.
But no bond is unbreakable and no summer truly endless, as Teresa soon discovers.
Because there is resentment underneath the surface of that strange brotherhood, a twisted kind of love that protects a dark secret. And when Bern—the enigmatic, restless gravitational center of the group—commits a brutal act of revenge, not even a final pilgrimage to the edge of the world will be enough to bring back those perfect, golden hours in the shadow of the olive trees.
An unforgettable story of enduring love, the bonds between men, and the all-too-human search for meaning, Heaven and Earth is Paolo Giordano at his best: an author capable of unveiling the depths of the human soul, who has now given us the old-fashioned pleasure of a big, sprawling novel in which to lose ourselves.
[A] bighearted novel… Giordano is a fluid, expansive writer (smoothly translated by Appel): The chapters flow effortlessly back and forth in time, pulling us deeper into the story of Teresa and Bern’s great love. The Italian landscape shimmers with their longing.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“What begins as a story of summer romance transforms into something more ambitious—an account of eco-terrorism—while also posing questions about the nature of passionate attachment.”
—The New Yorker